Colorado defenseman Ryan O'Byrne is taking his talents to the Sunshine State.
With no results in the lockout, O'Byrne has signed to play the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, located outside of Ft. Myers.
"At some point, you have to play some hockey," he said in an interview with the Times Colonist in Victoria, B.C. "You can work out as much as you want but nothing is like being in an actual game environment."
In his first game with the Everblades Friday night, he notched an assist and two penalty minutes in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Greenville Road Warriors. Same two teams are back at Saturday in Estero.
Unlike teammates Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, who are overseas during the lockout, O'Byrne had to find a team in the states because of his responsibilities as the player rep for Colorado.
"My role in the NHLPA is very important to me and I couldn't fulfill those duties in Europe," he said. He takes part in conference calls with the NHLPA then relays to the rest of the time via text messages and emails.
Florida, the defending Turner Cup champs, are owned by Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, NHL, Ryan O'Byrne